Wellsburg Stormwater Project Hits Hic | News, Sports, Jobs


Photo of Warren Scott – Crews from Independent Enterprises from Oakdale, Pa., Fill a trench along Main Street in Wellsburg, where they are installing a new water pipe. It is one of the many water and sewer projects pursued by the city.

As city officials make improvements to Wellsburg’s water treatment system, they face a downside in their efforts to manage stormwater flow on the east side of the city.

In 2019, the United States Environmental Protection Agency provided $ 1.06 million to design stormwater pipes to channel excess runoff that inundated Pleasant Avenue and other areas under a hill overlooking the city.

But city manager Steve Maguschak said it appears the federal agency has not approved the additional funding needed for the project. After hearing the news at its regular Wednesday meeting, the city’s sewage board consulted Thrasher Engineering, the Clarksburg-based engineering firm behind the estimated $ 14 million project.

Board members heard that the cost of the project and the people who benefited from it may have hurt its chances but they could appeal FEMA’s decision, especially if the city was able to commit other funds to it. Engineers said very few state grants are available for such projects, but a loan may be available through the state’s Department of Environmental Protection.

Maguschak also informed the board of directors of another expense: an inventory of all municipal water pipes containing lead and copper in order to determine the measures necessary to prevent health risks caused by exposure to metals.

A water crisis sparked by corroded lead pipes in Flint, Mich., Led the EPA to order all water suppliers using lead pipes, very common in older systems, to assess the need for preventive measures by 2024.

Board members heard from Joe Ritano of 120Water, who said the Zionsville, Indiana company uses a variety of methods to identify the lines, including collecting samples. They agreed to hire the firm at a cost of $ 18,200 to do the work over a two-year period.

In the other cases, Maguschak informed the board of directors about the installation of new water pipes in three key areas of the city.

He said teams from Independent Enterprises in Oakdale, Pa., Had started laying a water line along Main Street, installing side lines from the recently completed main line along Main Street. Charles and were replacing the torn sidewalks to install new lines along Commerce Rue.

Maguschak said the new lines are larger, allowing better flow, and are accompanied by the installation of several new hydrants along the streets.

He said unfortunately the work resulted in unplanned downtime when crews struck other unmapped lines nearby.

The city manager noted that teams from Grae-Con Construction in Steubenville have also been working on improvements to the water plant.

In recent months, a generator has been installed to prevent power outages from affecting plant operations and repairs have been made to its clarifier, a part used to mix chemicals and which has been blamed at least in part for the discoloration of the city water.

The new water lines and other improvements are being funded by the sale of $ 5.9 million in bonds and revenue generated from the city’s water rate increases approved last year.

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